Posts Tagged ‘Neil Strauss

12
Oct
08

The Game, revisited

Periodically, my email inbox reminds me of my not-distant-enough past. To wit: emails from self-styled dating gurus, so-called spiritual “leaders” (this means YOU, David Deida!) and invitations to Bikram yoga retreats. For the most part, I chuckle to myself, hit “delete”, and go about my business.

Sometimes, though, I reflect on my time on the periphery of “the community,” as Neil Strauss dubbed it in The Game, and wonder what those dudes are up to, i.e., what new marketing schemes they’ve come up with. I got close enough to a number of the biggest names in “The Game” (and some latecomers) to smell the Drakkar Noir*; Zan Perrion, Dave M., Grant Adams, Brent Smith, Lance Mason… plus I’ve interviewed David Wygant (for this blog, and a column), and (God help me) even tried a couple of Ross Jeffries’ courses. I’m still not convinced any of these guys had more than confidence and a good marketing plan, but more to the point,  the only one I actually liked on a personal level, whom I thought was a good guy, was Zan. Now, I’m not saying a guy has to be likable (and we’re talking subjectively here) to learn from, but to resort to the political red herring: of all of them, who would I want to actually sit down and have a beer with?

For all my investigation (or, as I prefer, “research”) into their techniques, the only one I found to be effective, at least for me, was David Wygant’s, and his advice didn’t consist of much more than motivational talks to give me the balls to go up and talk to people*.

So I guess the question I ask myself, the question I can afford to ask myself now that I’m firmly and happily (gasp!) ensconced in a relationship, is: for all the hundreds, perhaps thousands (I don’t want to think about it!) I spent on phone coaching, Internet correspondence programs, conferences, books and Marc Jacobs cologne, did it help? Did I get even anything approaching my money’s worth? Would the outcome have been any different had I, say, used that money to buy original comic book art or a boat instead?

But maybe a better question is: did I enjoy the journey? I have to say, it was an adventure. I’m sure if I had been in a better place in my life, like Hawaii, I wouldn’t have had to resort to seeking help from total marketers, I mean strangers. I found myself in some exceedingly odd situations though–in a hotel room in San Francisco with top dating gurus/coaches, and the hotel security guard, who came to warn us to keep it down so the Hong Kong flight attendants across the hall could sleep; in Everett, just outside of Seattle, in a hotel room with the sex educator, attending a David Deida conference; at the Cactus Club watching Zan work his magic on the waitress. Also, there were those nights at Celebriteez, hanging with the guys from Lifestyle Transformations, and a couple of tantric sex classes conducted by Tanya… all it all, it was a pretty interesting experience. There were some lessons in human nature, too–you can be a successful dating guru, with money and women at your disposal, and still act like a total putz, at least on your email subscriber list. Not to mention any names, Mr. Speed Seduction.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough about this subject. I did learn a lot; I don’t regret a minute of it, only a few hundred dollars. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go sell some stuff on Craigslist. A dog-eared copy of The Game, anyone?

*With apologies to my colleague Michael K., from whom I steal all my Drakkar Noir references.

**Girls.

25
Mar
08

Words to the wise from the real-life Hitch

I first saw David Wygant in action at Lance Mason’s Real World Rapport Summit in San Francisco last month. In a demonstration of approaches during the three-day conference, the enthusiastic, fast-talking former New Yorker (and, as legend has it, the inspiration behind the Will Smith character in the movie Hitch) blew away his competing pick-up artists. In an afternoon demonstration of his prowess, Wygant struck up natural-, and effortless-, seeming conversations with the attractive female test subjects in whatever setting—“Airport!” “Coffee shop!” “The gym!”—audience members suggested.

A veteran of the suddenly booming dating coach industry, Wygant is unique in that he advises both men and women. (He’s also been quoted in a variety of magazines and made dozens of TV appearances.) After various false starts I caught up with him on his cell in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles to chat about his rather strange occupation, what makes his coaching and downloadable programs (such as the Men’s and Women’s Mastery Series) different, and what men and women need to know in order to become dating adepts.

How did you get into this?

I came to this occupation 10 years ago when there wasn’t an occupation. I wanted to do something that I loved. I loved really relating to people, teaching them things. I wanted to find something I could spend my life doing instead of just making money. I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole adult life. Money was never an issue for me. But I wanted to do something I enjoyed, something that moved me in a lot of ways. There was nobody out there at the time. I think Zan [Perrion, Vancouver’s own “enlightened seducer”] and I realized we were doing it longer than just about anybody but Ross Jeffries [the granddaddy of the whole pick-up community]. I just don’t believe in tricks. I believe you just need to spend your time learning inner confidence and becoming that man that attracts people instead of relying on hocus pocus. You don’t need hocus pocus! And you need practice. The problem with our culture is it wants instant results, and instant results just don’t work. There is nothing that is ever going to help you instantly. It takes time. And that’s fine. That’s why people really like my stuff. They see real results, but it takes them a lot longer. They don’t mind because they know it’s lasting.

Is there a stigma attached to people who seek advice in this area?

The clients I get are people who are more self-evolved. These are men—and women—who really want to take their life to a deeper level. I’m getting guys who really want to learn the art of attraction, who want to become confident. I’m getting guys who want to become what I call real men.

How is what you teach different when it comes to men and women?

There’s a big difference between men and women. First off, when I’m teaching men, I’m teaching them how to be good conversationalists, how to listen, how to observe. I’m teaching them deeper ways to connect with the opposite sex. If you ever go out and watch two women, they’ll get into a conversation that will flow. It revolves around getting deeper from one topic to another. When a man talks to a woman he tries to go in there and he basically breaks her train of thought. He’ll start talking about random stuff. A woman will be in a grocery store picking out coffee and the man will walk over and say something ridiculous like, “Who cheats more, men or women?” What I do, when I coach men, I’m teaching them the art of learning a conversation and actively listening so they can talk to a woman based on what she’s already feeling and thinking. When I coach a woman, I’m teaching her to understand how men think, why they’re wired certain ways, and how to attract that man so he’s able to come over, and you still have all the power to select the man you want instead of being chosen all the time.

A lot of these so-called “dating gurus” have expanded their business and hired assistant coaches. Have you done this?

I’ve got one coach that works for me, and that’s it. Otherwise, no–this is my business. People come, they read my stuff, they buy my products, they want to be coached by me. I want to make sure they’re getting a fantastic experience.

Do you like the term “dating coach”?

No. I prefer “communication consultant.”

Are you still learning, or have you reached the limit of figuring out the male-female dynamic?

I don’t think you’ve ever reached the limit of anything in life. If you’re listen you’re always learning. I can tell you one thing. I’m a helluva lot smarter than I was 20 years ago. But I’m not as smart as I’m going to be in 20 years.

What changes have you seen in this industry?

Because of Neil [Strauss, author of The Game], or “Style”–and you know how I feel about nicknames, I think they’re for four-year-olds. I like to nickname women because it creates intimacy, so whenever I meet a woman I like to call her “Coffee Girl” or “Chocolate Girl” or whatever. But men with nicknames in the dating world? It’s ridiculous. Brand yourself. But honestly, I think the industry has changed unbelievably. I would thank Neil Strauss in this article and personally for writing a fantastic book which really brought this out to the forefront, so people actually go out and think dating advice is a cool thing to get. Because it is cool–you don’t need to be shy about it.

Take us through one of your weekend intensive bootcamps.

Friday night the troops gather at my house, some of the guys even stay at my house, under lock and key. We do role-playing, we do storytelling. You learn to flirt with beautiful women I have come over to my house. At the end of the Friday night everyone gets the DVD version of what they’ve just done. Saturday we go into the field, we go to every day places. We go to farmer’s markets, art galleries, bookstores, supermarkets, drycleaners, clothing stores, you name it. Every student has to buy a digital recorder, everything they go through, we do an audio summation afterwards. If they went up and approached a woman they get it broken down by me so they know exactly what to do when they’re alone. Sunday is a lot of approaches; I’m no longer teaching you, I’m following you.

What have you got coming up?

I’ve got a new product called 20 of My Best Openers coming up. And I’ve got a brand-new website being launched in the next two weeks.

You can find out more at http://www.davidwygant.com.

06
Mar
08

Real World Rapport Summit Day 3

11:00 a.m.: Lance is up there, showing us a new approach. Sheba, the Persian supergirl, sits at a table reading a book (one of the previous day’s props during Lance’s romance novels bit). I’m walking in on the middle of it, but apparently the routine is one where Lance spots his subject from across a room–a cafe, say–then slowly gets up and walks towards her. He looks down at the ground and focuses his nervous energy. He doesn’t crack a smile; he just walks up and says, “I had to come over and talk to you.” She puts down the book and he waits, silently, until she says something. It’s important not to crack a smile, he says–that will dissipate the sexual tension. But, speaking of tension, when I arrive this a.m. there are no seats and the back area is blocked by a sign reading, “For Pickup 101 and speakers only.” I take this as a personal message, and decide to spend the afternoon indulging my nostalgia for Polk Street, where I spent much time while apartment sitting in San Francisco ages ago.  3:00 p.m.: Beer, a swimming pool, the sun–who cares about the rapport summit? I’m too intent on enjoying my last afternoon in San Fran. However, I do run into some of the participants as they mingle outside. Jdog, one of the speakers (the dude with the pen 15 routine), f’rinstance, is out there near the pool on his phone. Also, I talk briefly with Tad, a participant from Edmonton, where he does improv comedy, and has worn a kilt to the conference room the last couple of days. Perhaps a form of what these guys call “peacocking”? He says the afternoon has been “intense.” 8:00 p.m. Back at Zan-adu, Don Diego is covering the lamps with coloured tissue paper from his all-purpose Victoria’s Secret shopping bag. This gives the room a pleasantly seedy bordello effect. “Is this in one of your e-Books?” I ask. (He’s written about 100, he says, for Neil Strauss’s Stylelife Academy.) “Yes,” he says. “My hotel party eBook.” Turns out he’s kidding, but it doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me. 09:50 p.m.: Well, I’ve missed almost all of Sunday. But I’m in time to catch the last minute of Lance’s sit-down conversation with Badboy, a Croatian ladeez man, also featured in Strauss’s The Game. Badboy is talking about when is the right moment to kiss her. “The moment you find yourself thinking, ‘Should I kiss her,’ you should,” he says. “In fact it might even be too late.” And: “Nightclubs are stacked against you… They’re a hostile environment.” And this: “Don’t think about yesterday’s mistakes. And tomorrow is just a dream. Seize the day.” A round of applause follows Badboy’s inspiring words, and then Lance announces the end of the day. Everyone mills about–PUAs (pickup artists) getting reacquainted, students asking more questions of their faves, supergirls deflecting pickup methods. 12:45 a.m.: The party in in full swing up in Zan-adu, with Lance, Zan, Don Diego, Daniel Johnson, Karisma, and a few others. (Zan has somehow talked Karisma into coming back to the hotel, even though she’d already left. Hmmm. The guy’s got talent.) We’re getting loud, and Iain from hotel “engineering” has come by to warn us we’re disturbing the Cathay Pacific flight attendants in the neighbouring rooms. Dylan is pouring him some of Don Diego’s champagne; Iain is surprised and somewhat shocked, even excited, when he realizes he is in the room with professional PUAs. He comes up, by accident I believe, a great name for them–“Premier Fuck Gurus” or something. He shows us the left-shoulder tattoo of his baby daughter, and that’s it for me–things are getting too weird, and I’m not up to conversing with anyone. I sneak out quietly, leaving the superstars of pickup artistry to plan, philosophize, and strategize–not on how to pickup chicks, but on new ways of marketing.




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